Q&As

Would equality law allow a public body to establish or support an initiative (eg mentoring scheme) which reserves a limited number of places for individuals with a particular protected characteristic eg disabled persons? Are there any specific or different considerations for public bodies in Wales?

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Published on LexisPSL on 20/03/2018

The following Public Law Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Would equality law allow a public body to establish or support an initiative (eg mentoring scheme) which reserves a limited number of places for individuals with a particular protected characteristic eg disabled persons? Are there any specific or different considerations for public bodies in Wales?

Would equality law allow a public body to establish or support an initiative (eg mentoring scheme) which reserves a limited number of places for individuals with a particular protected characteristic eg disabled persons? Are there any specific or different considerations for public bodies in Wales?

In answering this Q&A, we have assumed not to refer to a scheme provided by a school or education provider.

Equality law in general applies on a case-by-case basis, with particular duties applying for public authorities and other bodies exercising public functions. The aim in each case is to tackle systemic discrimination and disadvantage affecting people with particular protected characteristics, including disability, by eliminating prohibited conduct (eg discrimination, harassment and victimization) and integrating advancement of equality and good relations into the day-to-day functions of public bodies.

For background reading, see: Protected characteristics—overview and Prohibited conduct—overview.

The public sector equality duty (PSED) as set out in Part 11 of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) comprises a general over-arching equality duty, supported by specific duties intended to help performance of the general equality duty. While the general duty is the same for England, Wales and Scotland, the specific public sector equality duties enacted under EqA 2010, s 153 differ between those jurisdictions.

For background reading on the scope and requirements of the general PSED and specific duties in England, Wales and Scotland, see Practice Notes:

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